Mother Teresa Spinelli was a woman filled with love for God. In solidarity with the Suffering Servant of God, who offered his life on the Cross on Calvary in expiation for the sins of mankind, she wanted to offer her life and sufferings to satisfy Christ’s thirst for souls. The reason for founding our Congregation of Augustinian Sisters, Servants of Jesus and Mary in imitation of the first group of Christians in Jerusalem, was to imitate these Christians and live as “one” in heart and mind but also to spread Christ’s Kingdom on earth and embed it within the heart of those with whom she came in contact.
After her death this patrimony was passed on to her daughters, who ever since tried to spread this seed all over the world. Today, we, the Augustinian Sisters want to participate in Christ’ salvific mission by identifying ourselves with Jesus Christ the obedient Servant and offer ourselves to God’s people throughout the world, united in heart and soul in the ardour of Charity (Const. 3). Being as we are called, to God’s service in the mission of the Church, this also demands a readiness on our part to do pastoral work within the Diocese, in the parish which is the proper place for our work of evangelization and catechesis. This means that each one of us must be at all times exposed to an ongoing process of formation and possess a profound faith. In the wide areas of Brazil, where, in certain places, no priest is to be found, our sisters have to carry out pastoral duties all the time. It is the consecrated woman who administers certain sacraments, celebrates the Liturgy of the Word, and becomes a mother to satisfy the many needs that arise among these people.
Other aspects of the Apostolate of our Congregation are the houses of the little ones who are unwanted and, therefore, deprived of family love. Besides these there are also houses for the elderly, visits to the poor and sick people in houses or hospitals and administering to their wants both spiritual and material.
The Apostolate proper to our Congregation is above all the evangelization of children, youths and adults by way of Catechesis, moral, intellectual and professional formation in order to mould a well-rounded human being, created in the likeness of God that:”He is capable of God and can participate in His life” (Cfr De Trin xiv,8,11). Every initiative of the Apostolate in our spiritual sphere of action is the fruit of constantly keeping in touch with the Spirit of Christ. The unquestioning task of His word, combined with our total commitment to His Spirit renders our mission most efficacious (Const.218).
In imitation of the Good Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to go in search of “the lost one” and in readiness to obey his call through Obedience, the Sisters give their services to drug addicts, prisoners or to those just released, homeless adults, males and females. Another type of Apostolate is the work with refugees and migrants.
To continue spreading the spirituality of our Charism the A.L.A.S, an Association of Lay Augustinian-Spinellian members has been set up to help spread our missionary spirit in those corners of today’s society where our Sisters may not venture to go. By this effort a group Christian families well formed spiritually through catechesis received, seminars and retreats act as “dough” to the families they encounter in order that the society they live in may be well kneaded by the good example of their life.
God is so good that He willingly gives me everything without receiving anything in return.
(M. Teresa Spinelli)